With a tumultuous off-season, many teams hinge their playoff hopes on their quarterback. With 32 starting quarterbacks, it is only natural to make a quarterback power rankings to track players throughout the season. Some will rise. Some will fall.
Here is the third edition of the quarterback power rankings.
Injured players will be removed from the quarterback power rankings. They will be added back in after they return to action.
Drew Lock, Denver Broncos (Last Week: 22)
Lock will be out for about a month. Denver is in a rough spot as the roster is likely good enough to contend for a playoff spot, but they sustained so many injuries to key positions that 2020 is a lost cause.
Jimmy Garoppolo, San Francisco 49ers (Last Week: 21)
Garoppolo will be out for a few weeks. His absence might spell the end of San Francisco’s competition to win the NFC West, but the wild card spots will be wide open upon Garoppolo’s return.
The Chargers and Broncos have not named explicit starters as of the writing of this article. As such, both of their potential quarterbacks will be included in the quarterback power rankings.
No. 34: Jeff Driskel, Denver Broncos (Last Week: Not Included)
Driskel played reasonably well outside of taking an egregious sack. It is unlikely that the Broncos could win with Driskel.
No. 33: Blake Bortles, Denver Broncos (Last Week: Not Included)
Denver signed Bortles as a de facto short-term replacement for Lock. Denver’s offense will likely be stagnant for the foreseeable future.
No. 32: Nick Mullens, San Francisco 49ers (Last Week: Not Included)
He may not be more talented than Driskel or Bortles, but Mullens has the advantage of knowing the San Francisco playbook and having one of the smartest minds in football talking into his ear.
No. 31: Tyrod Taylor, Los Angeles Chargers (-1)
Los Angeles has not benched Taylor yet, but the Chargers would be digging a massive hole for themselves if they re-inserted Taylor into the lineup.
No. 30: Ryan Fitzpatrick, Miami Dolphins (+2)
Fitzpatrick made some gutsy throws, but he moves up in the quarterback power rankings because of Lock and Garoppolo’s injuries.
No. 29: Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings (-13)
After a mediocre Week 1 buoyed by garbage time stats, Cousins was certifiably awful against the Colts. Moving him to No. 29 in the quarterback power rankings might be a slight overreaction, but Cousins does not deserve to be higher.
No. 28: Carson Wentz, Philadelphia Eagles (-9)
Wentz truthers came out in droves after his pitiful Week 1 performance. However, the offensive line excuses were left in Week 1 as Wentz fired inaccurate pass after inaccurate pass against the Rams. Wentz has struggled mightily.
No. 27: Sam Darnold, New York Jets (-1)
Darnold had one magical throw, but he did not have a great day. The 49ers had a compromised pass rush, but Darnold still was not consistent.
No. 26: Dwayne Haskins, Washington Football Team (-2)
Similar to Darnold, Haskins lacks a supporting cast (besides Terry McLaurin), but he has not flashed as other quarterbacks have in their early days.
No. 25: Justin Herbert, Los Angeles Chargers (Last Week: Not Included)
Herbert makes his quarterback power rankings debut at No. 25. Outside of one interception and a few scattered passes, Herbert showed poise in his NFL debut. Kansas City does not have the best defense, but Herbert made some impressive throws, and he led what would have been the game-winning drive if the Chiefs had not responded with a game-tying drive.
No. 24: Daniel Jones, New York Giants (+1)
Jones and the Giants were one throw away from knocking off the Bears. He has his ups and downs, but he will have to thrive in a one-dimensional offense for the rest of the season as Saquon Barkley went down with a torn ACL.
No. 23: Mitchell Trubisky, Chicago Bears (+4)
The so-called “fourth-quarter Mitch” did not need to make an appearance as the Bears led most of the game, but Trubisky had a pair of touchdowns to counteract his interceptions. He is not a good quarterback, but he is better than he was in 2019.
No. 22: Baker Mayfield, Cleveland Browns (+7)
After clobbering the Bengals as a rookie, Mayfield was terrible against them in 2019. He split the difference in Week 2, having a productive day. He had a beautiful throw down the sideline to Odell Beckham, and he generally took care of business.
No. 21: Philip Rivers, Indianapolis Colts (+10)
Dropping Rivers to No. 31 in the quarterback power rankings was an overreaction, but he has limitations. His arm strength has deteriorated, but he can make enough throws to keep the Colts in games if called on.
No. 20: Teddy Bridgewater, Carolina Panthers (-8)
Bridgewater turned the ball over three times on Sunday. As a game manager, Bridgewater works, but turnovers can unravel an otherwise solid game.
No. 19: Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons (+1)
Ryan has a reputation of having electric offensive performances during a seismic collapse. Sunday was no different as Ryan chalked up four touchdowns, and the Falcons blew a 20-point lead.
No. 18: Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions (-1)
Stafford threw one of the worst passes of Week 2, but he was far from the reason why Detroit lost.
Detroit desperately needs Kenny Golladay to come back from injury.
No. 17: Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints (-11)
Cerebrally, Brees is as sturdy as any quarterback in league history. However, the arm strength is gone. Brees had a fair share of inaccurate throws against the Raiders, but he played without Michael Thomas. He should settle in the middle third of the quarterback power rankings.
No. 16: Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers (-1)
As with most of his career, Roethlisberger gets penalized for being in a loaded era of quarterbacks. He only has one turnover in two games, and he has made some excellent throws. He has played better than a No. 16 ranking, but it is hard to put him over anyone in the top 15 in the quarterback power rankings.
No. 15: Derek Carr, Las Vegas Raiders (-1)
Carr was clinical on Monday night. He benefited from elite yards-after-catch performances from the likes of Darren Waller and Nelson Agholor, but when Las Vegas needed a big throw, Carr delivered a deep ball to Henry Ruggs that drew a pass interference penalty.
No. 14: Tom Brady, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-1)
Brady is not quite in sync with his new weapons, and he has thrown three interceptions, but the mind and the arm are still in place. As the season continues, expect Brady’s consistency to improve.
No. 13: Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys (+5)
Prescott had 450 passing yards and three rushing touchdowns in one of the strangest quarterback stat sheets ever. He did lose a fumble, but he was instrumental in leading a massive comeback for the Cowboys.
No. 12: Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals: (+16)
The Bengals are 0-2, but Burrow has been as good as advertised. His processing is top-notch, and he is succeeding despite atrocious pass protection from four turnstiles out of five positions on the offensive line.
No. 11: Deshaun Watson, Houston Texans (+0)
Watson has yet to display his immense talent this season. He was quiet against the Chiefs during Week 1, and the Ravens stifled him in Week 2.
No. 10: Gardner Minshew, Jacksonville Jaguars (-1)
Minshew gets dragged down by a pair of interceptions, but he has been sharp through two weeks. He is tank-proof.
No. 9: Jared Goff, Los Angeles Rams (+1)
Yes, Goff is a product of the system. However, he has made terrific reads within the system, and he has consistently found the open guy. Goff’s play has been immune to criticism.
No. 8: Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills (+15)
Allen came out as a refined passer in Week 2. He was not pinpoint accurate down the field, but he was significantly more accurate than he was in 2019, exchanging incompletions for completions. It will not get easier than New York and Miami, but Allen has made a strong MVP push through two weeks.
No. 7: Kyler Murray, Arizona Cardinals (+0)
Murray has been sensational. He throws a gorgeous deep ball that rivals anyone’s in NFL history. His rushing ability is the great equalizer, and he is challenging for the title of most dynamic quarterback in the NFL.
No. 6: Ryan Tannehill, Tennessee Titans (+2)
Tannehill’s 2019 was not a fluke. Tannehill is the biggest reason why the Titans are 2-0. Denver and Jacksonville are not the stoutest defensive teams, but Tannehill does not have the strongest of supporting casts, and he has still been terrific.
No. 5: Cam Newton, New England Patriots (+0)
Newton was phenomenal on Sunday. Newton was on target as a passer, and he flashed eye-popping arm strength on a deep ball to Julian Edelman.
Until the last play, Newton had full control of the game when he was on the field.
No. 4: Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens (-1)
Jackson had a relatively quiet Week 2. He was under duress, and he ran a little too often, but he did not make any mistakes.
No. 3: Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers (+1)
2011 Rodgers wants his throne back. Rodgers has been unconscious through two games. He did not need to decimate the Detroit secondary as he did against Minnesota, but he put the Packers in a situation to thrive.
No. 2: Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs (-1)
Mahomes has made one Mahomes-esque throw in two weeks, but the Chiefs are 2-0, and Mahomes has been good enough.
He was terrific on scrambles against the Chargers, and they likely do not come back to beat the Chargers without a clutch scramble on a third-and-long.
No. 1: Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks (+1)
For as good as Mahomes is, Wilson has been on another level through two weeks. While unsustainable, Wilson is completing an absurd 82 percent of his passes while throwing touchdowns on 14 percent of attempts. Wilson has usurped Mahomes as the best quarterback in the NFL, but the title will likely go back and forth throughout the season.
Stay tuned for next week’s edition of the quarterback power rankings.
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